Marjoram in the garden and on the balcony. You can have this aromatic spice fresh every day! Only grated marjoram is not good!

Marjoram is one of the most popular spices in Polish cuisine. Most often we buy dried marjoram, but marjoram can be grown in gardens and on balconies. Thanks to this, we will have its fresh, fragrant leaves and shoots at our fingertips. We advise on the requirements of marjoram, how to grow it, when to sow it and how to care for it.


Marjoram is one of the most popular Mediterranean spices used in Polish cuisine. It has been cultivated for a long time and widely available even in the period of the Polish People’s Republic, when the choice of spices was considerably limited. We usually buy marjoram grated, i.e. crushed, dried. But nothing stands in the way of enjoying the smell and taste of fresh marjoram, straight from the container or garden. Because this plant is not particularly difficult to grow and if only its basic requirements are met, it will grow well both in the garden and on the balcony.

We mostly use the name marjoram or garden marjorambut is the official name of this plant marjoram marjoram (Origanum marjorana). It is closely related to oregano, better known as oregano. Both plants are quite similar to each other (especially difficult to tell apart when not in bloom). Marjoram is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used since ancient times. Currently, it grows wild in a few places, but it is cultivated a lot. Marjoram is also known as marjoram and mariolka.

Marjoram is a small bush. It grows approx. 30-40 cm in height. Its shoots are upright and quickly woody in the lower part. Marjoram leaves are oblong, elliptical and covered with delicate hairs (like young shoots), thanks to which the plant has a gray-green color. Characteristic of this plant are the angular “ears”, which form the so-called shoulder straps. These are transformed leaves, from which small, mostly white flowers grow (they can also be pink).

Marjoram flowers grow from characteristic bracts that form spikes. They are honey-bearing, but we can also use them. They are fragrant and tasty. Fablegros/pixabay.com

Marjoram is primarily used in the kitchen. It is hard to imagine sour rye soup, white borscht or pea soup without it. But it is suitable for seasoning almost everything – from meat dishes and sausages, to cheese and eggs in various forms, to complex dishes and stews, both with vegetables and meat. The leaves and young shoots are most often used, but the whole plant is aromatic. You can also easily reach the bracts of the flowers themselves flowers. The latter are especially good for salads or garnishing dishes. Marjoram flowers are also very honeyed.
Marjoram also has medicinal properties. First of all, it facilitates digestion, which makes it even more worthwhile to use it as a spice for heavy dishes. But it also helps with colds and skin problems, it is also used in cosmetics. Most often, marjoram infusion is made, but you can also prepare a medicinal tincture.

Marjoram will grow well if we provide it with a sunny place. Another condition is fertile soil, which should be permeable and calcareous, with a slightly alkaline reaction (the addition of basalt flour, wood ash will do well).

Marjoram does not like wet soil and will certainly tolerate drying out better than flooding. However, it will appreciate slightly moist soil. If we provide him with fertile soil, fertilization will not be necessary, but we can “feed” him with biohumus, added to the water when watering. You can also use homemade fertilizers based on eggshells.

Marjoram in a container should also be placed in a sunny place and planted in good soil. It is worth adding perlite to ensure good permeability. You can also buy ready-made substrate for herbs. It is important that the container has a drain and a drainage layer. You don’t need a large container to grow marjoram – you can plant several bushes in a standard box (in one row, approximately every 20 centimeters). Marjoram is also worth planting in individual ceramic pots, thanks to which we will create a Mediterranean corner on the balcony.

You can grow marjoram yourself from seeds. This is the cheapest option, but it requires patience. This plant can be sown in March for seedlings or at the end of April on the soil in the garden. It is important to cover the seeds with a minimum amount of soil and not to overwater. Seedlings require quilting, and plants sown in the ground – shredding (marjoram has small seeds and is usually sown thickly). If we have prepared seedlings, we plant them in the garden in the second half of May. A package of seeds costs about PLN 2-3.5.
Marjoram can also be propagated by dividing the grown clump. However, in Poland it is most often grown as an annual plant, so it is not a particularly recommended method.

The easiest way to start growing marjoram is to buy a ready-made seedling. Around May, they appear on sale in garden stores and markets. Just plant it in a garden or balcony jar.

Marjoram can be regularly purchased for seasoning dishes. However, let’s remember that cut the shoots, not just pluck the leaves. An alternative is “harvesting marjoram”, which can be done twice. The first time when the marjoram begins to bloom (it has buds, but the flowers are not yet developed), and the second time when the saplings grow, in August-September. You can also use an indirect method, i.e. cut twigs and shoots for current needs during the season, and cut them all for drying in autumn.
If you want the marjoram to grow and spread, do not cut too low (cut over the woody part).
Marjoram is best tied into small bundles and hung upside down. It is dried in an airy, shaded and dry place.

In Poland, one-year-old marjoram is most often grown (although the plant is both biennial and perennial, and it is not always known which one we came across). However, if it’s nice in the fall and we want to keep it longer, we transplant it into a jar and take it home (it won’t survive). It needs a very bright place and moderate watering. Of course, we can move the pots from the balcony.

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